"JERSEY'S EVENING PROPAGANDA"
do you ever wonder why the (Jersey Evening Post) will not create a comments section for certain stories of vital importance to the people of Jersey ?
Disclaimer: the posting of stories, commentaries, reports, documents and links (embedded or otherwise) on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such posted material or parts therein.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
"Opening a Debate on Finance"
THE founder of the Tax Justice Network, Richard Murphy, is one of this Island’s harshest critics – or, to be more accurate, a regular, vociferous and dogged critic of the Island’s principal economic activity of offshore financial services.
Earlier this week he addressed Islanders at a meeting organised by the Jersey Democratic Alliance and the pressure group Time4Change. He did not, however, come here to harangue anyone or to launch a tirade of abuse. Unlike some who attack Jersey, he appears to be interested in genuine debate about the nature of offshore centres, though it is clear that the starting point of his argument is that such centres exercise a malign influence.
As a figure fuelling debate, Mr Murphy can, in fact, be seen as a counterweight to those who brook absolutely no criticism of the financial services sector. If the idea that all is rotten in the state of Jersey fails to stand up to scrutiny, the same can be said of the idea that every facet of finance activity is utterly beyond reproach.
To his credit, Mr Murphy came here with a template for change which he believes would not only remedy the deficiencies that he detects in our finance industry, but would also secure our economic future. In short, he has a ‘Plan B’ for Jersey.
The trouble is – at least from the point of view of those who insist that the Island is playing a tainted game – that there is a great deal of common ground between Mr Murphy’s Plan B and the Plan A that our industry and its regulators are already following.
The Murphy line is that Jersey can become a beacon of probity by encouraging honesty, accountability and transparency. On the understanding that reputation is everything, the political and regulatory drive of recent years has been in the direction of openness and the exchange of tax information with other jurisdictions.
The Tax Justice Network still judges the Island harshly, but time and again external authorities have examined what our industry and its regulators do and how they do it, only to conclude that we are, to use an expression much loved by finance specialists, ‘best of breed’.
Mr Murphy might argue that best is still not good enough and that the very basics of offshore business are fatally flawed, but does he really believe that the ideal, pristine conditions that he envisages will ever be a practical possibility in this imperfect world?